Top 10 Myths of Climbing the Hockey Ladder
by Steve McKichan, FuturePro Goaltending
Every brain surgeon and beer bellied “expert” (holding a Timmy’s Triple/Triple) you run into around the rink will undoubtedly have it all figured out. They will tell you exactly how so and so got drafted and likely they will add in everything they taught them. Old wives’ tales, myths and falsehoods will never benefit innocent unknowing parents who may believe things they hear about the hockey ladder and how it applies to their little rosebud.
- “My top AAA goalie has signed up for this great
scouting service and they know all the scouts and coaches at the next level. In
fact, they did this awesome highlight pack of my son. The scouts will LOVE it!"
College scouts, junior scouts and NHL scouts were not born yesterday and “know” when a service is pumping the tires of their stable. Of course, they also know that highlight tapes are like profile pictures on a dating website.
REAL scouts listen to REAL hockey people who have played NHL, college and Major Junior. And even then they will still do independent verification
- “If my kid stands on his head when the scout is
there they will notice him!”
- “My kid is 5’ 8” but there are lots of kids that
are smaller that have made it”
- “Our head coach doesn’t like our kid because he
never plays him in key games but we know scouts will see him in the other
- “We get private lessons with the best goalie
coach in the area and he knows everyone in hockey”
- “My kid is not a fan of working out but he is
ripping it up as a goalie so he will be fine.”
- “Our goalie is a gamer but doesn’t really like (to work at) practice.”
- "I talked to the scout and told him everything he needed to know about my son. I think he really appreciated it!"
I often see OHL Scouts at AAA games proudly (peacocking) their team logos. Of course, draft eligible mothers get dolled up for these games and “accidently” hang out near them and gung ho hockey dads take very little time to saddle over and begin the futile small talk that inevitably gets around to their future pro (see what I did there?)
- "Johnny's last five coaches didn't seem to think he was an exceptional goalie, but they don't see what I see."
The process of getting scouted is actually pretty clear cut. Your kid needs to be outside the middle of the bell curve on the right side. PERIOD.
dad has tons of money and sponsors / owns the team so he will get scouted for
This is an old wives’ tale. These type of “innocent” acting Napoleon fathers are actually very common in junior hockey and AAA circles. They may buy their kid a little more time but at the end of the day REAL hockey is predicated on having legitimate athletes playing at the higher levels. Recently the owner of the Flint OHL team had the entire team quit when he fired the coach for not playing his son enough!
In conclusion, all this confusion, worry and misinformation about scouting can be abated quite simply. I can lay this out for you so you can relax and simply watch you kid play.
If they aren’t overwhelmingly awesome they need to systematically fix the individual weaknesses in their game. If they remove all weaknesses, are truly intrinsically motivated and truly want it more than mom and dad they WILL get scouted without you doing one thing.